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Monday, July 18, 2016 3 Ways to Improve Your Academic Voice

Academic voice is pretty important in your college papers because it shows your professor how you feel about the topic. In addition, the “voice” of your paper should support your argument of something. So how do you accomplish this goal? I’m sure that at least some of the assignments you’ve written have required “academic voice,” but what does that look like in a paper? I’ll give you a few tips on achieving academic voice and a few examples to set you on your feet.

1. Choose intelligent words.

That’s right, pull out the SAT vocab books again and get studying. This tip will help you achieve academic voice if you can choose an applicable word that suits the topic you’ve chosen. I will caution you against choosing big words for the sake of choosing big words. Choose words that actually apply to the topic you are writing on, or that actually make sense in your papers. Otherwise, your professor will see that you put very little work into choosing your diction. Once you do this for a while, you’ll develop a few favorite words to use.

  • From: The taking of money unfairly from elderly people is an increasing problem.
  • To: The bilking of elderly people is an increasing problem.
  • From: Eating only sugar can cause bad things to happen to one’s body.
  • To: Eating only sugar can cause detrimental effects to one’s body.

See how choosing more applicable words makes the writing sound more formal? While “bad things” is applicable, it is not as concise or academic as “detrimental.”

2. Remove all slang and colloquialisms.

This is a major problem in college papers. You really shouldn’t be writing common phrases in your papers because it shows you put very little thought into it. Also, it doesn’t achieve formal voice!

3. Write objectively when possible.

When you write objectively in your papers, “you” becomes “one" (grammatically, anyway). This helps the reader take a holistic look at what you are writing about. In addition, you shouldn't be talking about yourself in academic papers. Make sure you are objectively analyzing information rather than just offering your opinions. 

Posted at 10:33 AM | Comments (0)
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